Tag Archives: austin

Tough Talk :: Blackillac Keeps It Coming With ‘Hitman’

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As Blackillac continues their ascension, we’ve been blessed with a constant stream of solid music and video output from the duo of Zeale and Phranchyze.  Their latest hit (no pun intended) is the dark and mysterious Hitman, a banger produced by NA the Producer with plenty of moodiness and heaviness to back up the braggadocio coming live and direct from the talented MC pairing.  As a bit of a bonus, the two linked up with Dan2theL for a straight-forward, no-BS, well-shot music video :

As someone who has been there to watch both of these cats rise out of the Austin battle-rap scene into solo stardom, and eventually morph into financially and culturally viable artists, I am extremely proud of Zeale and Phranchyze for taking full advantage of a chance to live the dream.  I’m definitely staying tuned, as Blackillac is positioning themselves for a breakout year in 2020.

-chief

Master Teachers :: AKAdemics Hits Heads With ‘The Syllabus’

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As much as I support hip-hop pushing it’s stylistic and cultural elements forward, I’m a sucker for raw raps and boom-bap, always.  Therefore, it’s always refreshing when I hear like-minded MCs creating new music in that vein.  The Austin-based College of Hip-Hop Knowledge (CHHK) is in that club of MCs who feels the same, and proof of this would be the release of The Syllabus by the collective known as AKAdemicsBig Mic and JSun the Prophesor on lyrical duties, with DJ Berlin holding them down on support.  If you’re a fan of tracks that make you think in equal measure to making you nod your head, then you’re in luck, because this project is overflowing with that level of dopeness.  Certainly a strong release from the CHHK camp, and a solid way to wrap up what seems to have been a productive 2019 for the collective.  Knowing those cats, this is just a step in their continued upward trajectory, so definitely get hip to CHKKAKAdemics, and everyone else connected.

-chief

Shaky Foundations :: Mirage The GR8 Reflects On ‘4-5 Still Alive’

Mirage the GR8 has always been one of the MCs in the Austin area that I looked up to, as he was already releasing tapes when I was wondering if it was possible to cross over from fan to artist.  It’s only fitting that at age 45, Mirage would take a moment to think back on where he came from, assess where he is, and re-calibrate himself for the journey ahead, and all of this is accomplished in the brief but thought-provoking 4-5 Still Alive.  The incredibly smooth track from Trill Gates gives Mirage plenty of room to talk about style evolution and political landscapes, both of which have a synergistic relationship with hip-hop culture, in his trademark laid-back delivery.  It’s been an honor working with Mirage the last couple of years on the music video front, and it makes me happy to know that he has no plans on stopping any time soon.  Check out the song, leave a like and a comment, and share it around for others to do the same.

-chief

Making Memories :: Orthy Drops Lyric Video For ‘Which Is Better’

As Orthy prepares for the release of Fable Living, his latest full-length release, his promotional game has been top notch.  After a handful of single releases, Orthy has gone nostalgic on us with his lyric video for Which Is Better.  On top of showcasing the clever wordplay in the chorus and the heartfelt verses, the video also provides a peek into his personal life, with footage of family, friends, work time and downtime all cut to the infectious tune.  Check it out, leave a like and a comment, and share it around so that Orthy can blow up and win our childhood bet about who will be famous first.

-chief

Home Bass :: Tåsi And BLakchyl Connect For ‘East 10th’

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Producer/MC Tåsi and super-lyricist BLakchyl were both raised in the streets of East Austin, a formerly notorious part of town that has found itself in a transition phase in the face of gentrification.  Despite these changes, it seems the duo has taken the adage of ‘no matter how far you go, never forget where you came from’ to heart, as their recent collaborative effort, East 10th, was recorded on the same street that BLakchyl was raised on (and still has family residing on).  The songs focus on personal journeys and the ever-changing face of the East Side, while Tåsi‘s production mirrors the changes with a range of sonic moods.  Rounded out with guest appearances by ChiClopzClare and French wordsmith Cerbère, the project is short and bittersweet, leaving you longing for more (similar to how us native Austinites yearn for things to be more like they used to be in our evolving town).  Cop yourself a physical or digital copy of this one, or just stream it and share it so that others can feel the vibes.

-chief

Boom Talk :: Urban Heat Island Effect Drops Captivating Video For ‘Guns’

One thing I love about the Austin music scene is how collaborative it can be.  Talented musicians form bands, play with other bands, and new bands form out of these meetings.  Urban Heat Island Effect is a perfect example of this phenomenon, as it contains a roster full of hugely talented musicians from other successful projects : Jonathan Horstmann is a veteran of several projects, including BLXPLTN and VC30Kevin Naquin is a founding member of the standout duo NGHT HCKLRS, who joined forces with Blackillac to form Blastfamous USAJessica Alexander did time with Bike Problems before joining this crew; and Paxel Foley rocked with Betaplayer previously.  As a collective, the crew is coming out the gate hard with Guns, a throwback-style post-punk, no-wave-esque track with a very, very timely message about misplaced machismo.  2019 is proving to be a killer year in terms of quality work, and Guns is just another notch in Austin‘s belt.  Check out the video, like and comment on it, and spread it around for others to enjoy as well!

-chief

Fine Dining :: 5-D Drops Another Gem With ‘Burger Cheese’

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It seems that variety is the wave once again in hip-hop, and luckily, Austin has a diverse selection of MCs and producers to provide us with a large variety of hip-hop locally.  Local legends HBZ and RuDi Devino, collectively known as 5-D when they connect with Solar Shield, have been flexing their creative range as of late, and their latest single is a monster.  Burger Cheese finds the duo dropping bar after bar about ascension and standing out, and do so by mixing in a metric ton of visual imagery and metaphor over a beat that swings way harder than it has any business doing so, and it all mixes together perfectly.  This one is an earworm for sure… you’ll probably run it back a few times on the first listen, and it’ll definitely stick with you for the long run.  Check it out, like and leave a comment, and spread the word about 5-D and Burger Cheese for others to enjoy and do the same.

-chief